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The subsections in this lesson are:

An adverb can be a word (easily) or a phrase (last night) that describes or modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb, and sometimes a sentence, but not a noun or a pronoun. We can identify a lot of adverbs by their endings. They end in -ly but not all, as some words that end in -ly are adjectives.

 

Examples:

  • We crawled slowly around on our hands and knees looking for the needle. (Adverb slowly modifies verb crawl)
  • I dreamed about you last night. (Adverb last night modifies verb dreamed)

  • The monster was incredibly ugly. (Adverb incredibly modifies adjective ugly)

  • The heart patient collapsed quite suddenly. (Adverb suddenly modifies adverb quite)

  • Fortunately, we were in time to buy the last tickets. (Adverb fortunately modifies a sentence we were in time to buy the last tickets)

 

Unlike adjectivesadverbs do not modify nouns.

Examples:

  • Correct: That woman has a beautiful daughter. (Adjective)
  • Incorrect: That woman has a beautifully daughter. (Adverb)
  • Correct: He found the exam quite hard. (Adjective)

  • Incorrect: He found the exam quite hardly. (Adverb)

  • Correct: We heard a loud explosion and then saw thick smoke. (Adjective)

  • Incorrect: We heard a loudly explosion and then saw thickly smoke. (Adverb)

 

The adverb is an intensifier

Besides being a modifier, the adverb performs another function. As an intensifier, it makes the adjective that they modify stronger by giving it emphasis.

 

Examples:

  • The weather is exceptionally cold at this time of the year.
  • He is downright rude to his parents.

  • The treatment is extremely dangerous for an old person like her mother.

  • The witch appeared hideously ugly in his dream.

  • The substance was found to be highly addictive.

 

Adverb Phrase

The adverb does not come in just one word. It can be a group of two or more words acting as an adverb phrase (or adverbial phrase). The adverb phrase does the work of an adverb in a sentence in modifying a verb, an adjective or another adverb.An adverb phrase may consist of one word or usually more words. The adverb phrases are in bold. 

 

Examples:

  • He has been sitting at the corner for hours.
  • His father owns a house by the sea.

  • I decided to join them to jog in the park.

  • We strolled along the beach after sunset.

  • A couple of birds were perching on the gate.